Stay On-Theme This February Thanks to Stemilt's Pink Lady® Program
- by Kayla Webb
WENATCHEE, WA – While Valentine’s Day is still a little over a month away, candy hearts, Cupid’s Arrow, and thornless roses are beginning to pop up in grocery stores along with one of shoppers' beloved apple varieties: Pink Lady® apples. Leading up to the most romantic day of the year, Stemilt Growers’ Communication Manager Brianna Shales suggests retailers begin planning for Pink Lady apple promotions now.
“February, but specifically Valentine’s Day, is the best time for Pink Lady® apple promotions,” said Shales in a press release. “During this time of the year, we see a surge of sales, as the variety is the perfect fit for the holiday; the coloring, branding, and flavor profile all fit the theme, making it the peak promotion time for this apple.”
According to national retail scan data from Nielsen, February marks a spike in Pink Lady apple volumes at retail across the U.S., with 6.3 percent of the total apple category sales coming from Pink Lady as of February 2016. This is an increase from 4.1 percent in January 2016 and helped carry momentum into March 2016, with category contribution at 4.6 percent. As a result, Shales encourages retailers to start planning now for Pink Lady apples’ apple of the month and Valentine’s Day promotions.
“The Pink Lady is a popular variety with high sugars and high acids, and February is an ideal time to start pushing this apple at retail,” Shales said. “The apple’s beautiful pink coloring pairs very well with the theme of Valentine’s Day which makes it easy for retailers to use our packaging and branding style to create a festive Valentine’s Day display.”
Offering branded 5lb pouch bags as well as Pink Lady pop-up display bins, Stemilt’s in-house design team is set on helping retailers promote this not only as an everyday grab-and-go item, but as an apple to be enjoyed during holiday peaks and as the apple of the month in February.
“We offer a variety of Pink Lady packaging and merchandising options to help partner retailers tie this apple into the Valentine’s Day theme. From organic to Apple Lover bags, and of course, our industry leading Lil Snappers® program, there are so many ways to tap into Pink Lady apples this February,” continued Shales.
Due to the smaller sizing of this year’s crop, Shales also recommends retailers carry Lil Snappers Pink Lady apples in 3lb bags as its kid-friendly flavor profile are popular with adults and kids alike. And for those looking for the organic option, Pink Lady apples are also available under the Artisan Organics™ brand.
Stemilt has grown Pink Lady apples for nearly three decades, perfecting the growing, storing, and packing process. “Our teams have dedicated a lot of time to ensuring these Pink Lady apples are the best they can be,” said Shales. “We grow them in specific warmer sites in order to build color and flavor of this last-to-harvest apple. Our leadership in growing Pink Lady results in apples with exceptional color, crunch, and of course a balance of acids and sugars.”
Along with snacking, Pink Lady apples are also versatile in the kitchen. Because it doesn’t brown quickly after slicing and maintains its shape when baked, Pink Ladies are great for green salads, baking into tasty treats, or pairing with wine, chocolate, and cheese for a romantic appetizer or side dish on Valentine’s Day.
“The Pink Lady apple is an essential part of the apple category most of the year, but February marks the time of year to really ramp up promotions. The momentum built by this apple in its feature month will help carry your apple category into the spring and summer months. Be sure to take advantage of opportunities on bulk, Lil Snappers® kid-size fruits, and of course Artisan Organics Pink Lady apples throughout February,” Shales said.
Retailers interested in the Pink Lady promotions may contact Stemilt Sales representatives now to begin planning.
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